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Monday, September 25, 2023



Dr Baba Ceesay, the director of President Yahya Jammeh Islamic University at Kanifing called on Gambians to rally behind their president no matter the circumstances. 

In a recent series of weekly conferences held at the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council mosque which have gone viral online, Dr Ceesay stated: “It is widespread among many people today that the bravest preacher is the one who mounts the pulpit and attacks the president with derogatory sermons. To many, such a person is the fearless preacher. He will castigate the president; he will hurl insults at him or even call him names and abuse his personality and when he descends from the pulpit, people will congratulate him for doing so by saying to him,’Jazakallah khaira, ya imam (may Allah grant you goodness, imam). Many people see such a person as the great scholar, the best man, the bravest. This is wrong and it is long overdue to set the record straight in order to nip such unscholarly attitudes and behaviour by some imams and preachers in the bud. This is not bravery. And it is not a scholastic attitude because this was not the way of the sahaba (the companions of the prophet) and our pious predecessors. This was not the way they operated when dealing with rulers. 

“The Qur’an has addressed this in the clearest term that to follow leaders whether from the temporal or spiritual world is an act of worship and it is religion. Allah said: ‘O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger (Muhammad sallahu alayhi wassalam) and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (sallahu alayhi wassalam), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. Therefore, it is justified to get rid of all the opponents of government even… because that is what God ordains.”

He quoted many ahadith such as hadith number 4568 of Sahih Bukhari (Book 20) to support his thesis which he claimed allowed the removal of any person who wants to undermine the leadership of a united Muslim nation and cause disunity.  


‘No multipartyism in Islam’

Dr Ceesay also contended that there is nothing like a multiparty system in Islam. “Whoever is calling for a multiparty system should be ostracised,” he said while asserting that protests and armed struggles are strictly forbidden in Islam and anyone who engages in them break Islamic law. “We [Muslims] do not riot against a government and we do not go against a Muslim leader. This is not the way of Muslims. Muslims do not know riots. These are imported foreign ideologies and are contrary to Islam. This did not happen during the prophet’s era. The sahaba never did such things. The tabi’een (generations after the sahaba) never rioted. And none of our great scholars of the Ahlu-sunnah wal Jammah rioted against their leaders. Therefore, this indicates that to follow your leader is also to obey Allah and the prophet. Whoever follows the leader in his good doings and in things that are not in conflict with the prophet’s sunnah and the Holy Qur’an, is following the commands of Allah and the prophet. Even if the leader seizes or freezes our entire properties and wealth in this country, we should follow him. Even if he denies us our rights, it is incumbent upon us to give him his. If you tell this to some people, they would not understand. But this is what the prophet told us to do. To some, it is like ‘Allah forbid!’. They will say it is the highest form of cowardice to allow the leader to own all our assets and we remain silent about it. They will say we should go out and riot. But this is not the solution and shall never be a solution in Islam.” 

According to Dr Ceesay, obedience to constituted authority is the approach and methodology of Muslims especially the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah.


By Ousman Bojang


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